Whether you’re moving out of your parents’ house for the first time and heading off to uni to start the next stage of your life, or you’re going into second or third year and hoping to find the best accomodation available that wont’ rip you off or cost you an arm or a leg, chances are you could use a few pointers when it comes to getting it right.
With that in mind, we thought we’d put together a quick guide to choosing your student house for the coming year!
Figure out how much you can afford
First things first, you’ll want to make sure you can actually still afford to eat after shelling out for your new digs, so spend some time figuring out your budget and what you can realistically afford.
Factor in your loan and any grants or other funding you recieve, income from employment, and make a note of all of your monthly outgoings. Include everything from your utility bills, phone and internet, food budget, travel costs and the cost of maintaining a social life.
You’ll also want to factor in the one off costs like agency fees and deposit that you’ll be expected to pay. These agency fees vary wildly from one part of the country to another, with things like credit check fees ranging between anything from £6 to £200.
A great way to avoid being stung by steep bills and save yourself the hassle of chasing your housemates for their share of the bills is to look for places where everything is included. Mighty Student Living in Lancaster, for example, offer properties where bills are included including internet and contents insurance.
View properties with open eyes
When going to view properties, not everybody knows exactly what to look out for until they’ve already been stung. So it’s best to do some research into the things you need to be careful of when you view a new place to avoid living in your own personal hell like these students.
Save The Student have some great tips in this article, as well as a house viewing checklist that you can find here. You want to make sure your prospective new home doesn’t suffer from damp problems or a high rate of crime, so be on the lookout for any warning signs.
Choose your housemates wisely
When deciding on who to live with next year, it’s as important to get this right as it is to get the house itself right. Who you live with can impact your day to day happiness just as much as the property itself, so it’s important to get this part right too.
Often you’ll be tempted to move in with friends you made in first year, and while this does work well a lot of the time, it isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be. People often find it more difficult to be assertive with their friends than strangers, but this can lead to resentment and falling out anyway, so it’s tricky ground.
There is also a big difference between being compatible in terms of friendship and being compatible when it comes to living together. This article from the Telegraph is helpful when it comes to figuring out what makes somebody good housemate material!